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As Space Tourism Takes Off, Get Ready for Zero Gravity Sports
Reuters reports space tourism will be a $1 billion industry in 10 years as private space companies take people who can afford it to Earth orbit and back. Imagine a privately-owned space station in orbit that can house tourists for a week at a time. People can eat, sleep and work in a microgravity environment much like astronauts do on a regular basis.
What would tourists do for recreation? If you love sports, here are some ideas for zero gravity sports.
Paintball wouldn't even need the paint to be encapsulated into a plastic shell. Liquids already stay in a round shape in microgravity without the help of containers. Instead of using a gun to propel the liquid projectiles, all you need to do is have a good puff of air from a tube.
Playing volleyball would take on new meaning. Instead of aiming for a "floor," the rules would have to be altered. Perhaps the first team to hit the ball against the opposing team's wall would get a point. The trajectory of the ball would also be less in doubt—an object in motion would stay in the same motion until acted upon by an outside force. Going for a kill would be a blast as players can jump as high as possible without being hindered.
Golf has already been played on the moon. On a space station, holes would have to be inside walls or compartments as opposed to on a flat putting surface. Perhaps disc golf would be more appropriate for outer space as throwing a Frisbee would be much easier in zero gravity environments.
Throwing a forward pass has new meaning in microgravity football. The 100-yard field could be on multiple surfaces and not just a flat field with end zones. Kicking a field goal would have to be marked by spots on walls as a kick wouldn't come down to go through uprights like on Earth.
Playing baseball in zero gravity would be a cinch for outfielders trying to catch fly balls. Someone can jump as high as possible to catch a ball that would travel in a straight line to its destination. A home run wouldn't be marked by a fence—a far wall would have to designate where the ball hits to be considered a home run. Trying to go around the bases would also be fun. Without gravity, players could push off a wall and float to first base by grabbing a handhold as opposed to stepping on a bag.
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